Things are going crazy
Our nation and world are in so much pain with huge, polarizing issues like the refugee crisis, racial tension and our presidential debate. At times, it can seem as though so much is going wrong that we slip into despair, not knowing what we can do to help the situation or even how to react.
For quite some time now, I have been wanting to post about the racial tensions going on in our country today, but couldn't figure out what to say. Many good friends and great bloggers have done a great job talking about it but I have been at a loss for words.
I saw quite a deal of racism in my small town growing up and it has always infuriated me and it pains me to see it creeping back up again. It seems as though every day, I see another african-american man or a police officer being killed or mistreated. The whole thing saddens me. It also baffles me. After all of the progress we made as a country in racial unity over the past many years, it seems that recently we have begun to digress. I don't know how and I don't know why. I have seen numbers and statistics thrown out from either side of the debate about who is or isn't to blame and don't know what I can do to help the situation. But I think ultimately, all we can do is love those around us and work on unity with all people, starting in our families, neighborhoods, churches and schools. We have to start somewhere, but it still hurts.
Peace in the storm
There is only one thing that gets me through crazy times: realizing that God has led His people through many crazy times. The song below, High Above It All by For All Seasons, has been a cornerstone for me over the past year. I first heard it at the National Youth Workers Convention last year and it keeps popping back up. I want to walk through some of these lyrics and explain how they have helped me through times when I don't understand what is going on and don't know what to do. It has applied to my life with the situations like the vicious presidential debate, saddening racial tensions, etc. but it has also helped me through personal trials and confusion about what is going on in my own life.
The song starts like this...
"I've come to seek your face, I long for you. You are my hiding place, my safe refuge. I find my hope in You. Your peace it carries me through."
God is our safe refuge amidst all turmoil and strife. He calls us to him because we cannot walk through this crazy world without Him. We need his presence and can only receive true strength and peace from Him.
Then the chorus hits...
"Waters roar and mountains fall, You remain high above it all. You are high above it all. Kingdoms rage and nations shake but you remain high above it all. You are high above it all, Almighty God"
When the "waters are roaring" in our life, God is bigger. When everything around us in falling apart, God is holding us together. When nations and communities are rocked and weakened, God is still strong and there for us. This is such a great reminder that God stays the same through all the change and nothing that happens in this world can take anything away from Him or from His love for His people. God is bigger and completely in charge and I must trust Him when things seem to be out of control from my human perspective.
Then finally, the bridge...
There is triumph in Your presence, healing in Your peace.
So I will lift my voice, proclaiming victory!
God is the only thing that is going to ultimately solve all of the struggle and hurt in the world. He knows human suffering. He Himself came down from Heaven to become one of us, to suffer with and for us on the cross, but also to claim victory over sin, death, and hurt. He offers you and I that healing, peace and victory. We can receive it in His presence, no matter what is going on around us.
I pray that as you move throughout the rest of your day, with all the craziness in our world and the busyness in your life, that you will find what you are looking for and what you need in the Lord's presence today. When everything is falling apart and bringing you down, God is above it all and wants to lift you up.